'Miracle man' LoBue is first American to win 27m diving world title

Steve LoBue admitted to a "surreal moment" as he became the first American to win gold in the men's 27 metres high diving event at the Fina World Championships yesterday.

LoBue's career-high victory came two years after he was hailed as a "miracle man" after hitting his head on the diving platform at a cliff diving event in France.

The 32-year-old rallied from fourth place after the first two rounds to claim gold with 397.15 points at a specially-constructed six-metre pool in the River Danube.

He beat Michal Navratil of the Czech Republic by 6.25 points, with Alessandro De Rose of Italy taking bronze.


"When hundreds of hours of training come together in the three seconds it takes to jump from 27m, I couldn't be happier," said LoBue.

"It is a surreal moment and I'm looking forward to a nice month of rest with my family before competing again."

In 2015, the diver hit his head during a routine in La Rochelle but completed the dive and then emerged from the competition with just a facial cut and bandage over his left eye.

Reflecting on the incident, LoBue said: "There are a lot of people who may have succumbed to the fear, but I had to complete that dive two weeks later." - AFP